tv Washington This Week CSPAN December 1, 2012 2:00pm-4:03pm EST
in my lifetime with respect to broad openings in china. a, diplomatic openings. the ones who want to recognize china will abide by the one china policy. the economic doors that have taken china to a relatively small economy to the second largest in the world. and 3, primacy of the party with its 80 million members and 3000 outposts in the world. now you have xi jinping rising to power. he has been given the party mantle and soon the military and the presidency. before him will be new questions much different from the ones that deng xiaoping was responsible for acting upon. before xi jinping will be questions like, is china more repressive at home today than in
earlier years. is china more nationalistic in its economic practices, but jiggly those among the enterprises? has china become more assertive internationally? i would argue east of these questions carried fairly profound rule of law implications. as xi jinping rises to take the top position in china and wrestles with new challenges and attempts to answer any questions, i would argue that many of them are based in basic rule of law doctorate -- doctrine. the most important steps ahead for china will be around bolstering the rule of law. the implications are profound for expanding civil society, for human rights, for addressing the needs of ordinary citizens, for building a greater economic certainty. rule of law is an essential
pillar of our democracy. for china, rule of law is the best way of regulating and settling disputes in society. serving as a check against the abuse of power. the real question for china over the next few years will be, what reigns supreme for the world's second largest economy -- the party or the law? despite setbacks in recent years, wen jiabao said, rule of law will be one of three components of any future democracy along with dignity, justice, and independence as guarantees in any reform efforts. number 2, we have gone from the dais where jerry cohen was the
only lawyer -- the days where jerry cohen was the only lawyer in china to 17,000 law firms. as away from -- as he weifang, there used to be only certain judges that held a bachelor's degree. too often china's justice system falls short of the laws on the books, both in practice and spirit. corruption is widespread. collusion among police and prosecutors and judges is common. most critical, the fundamental question of judicial independence remains ever elusive. the most sensitive cases still
remain within the party control. number 3, and finally, what will be the process for future collaboration for the united states and china? i hope this group can talk about it. we have such firepower in the united states with great universities, wonderful legal societies that are willing to share our society -- our lot -- our knowledge brown's rule of law. how do we pack its ongoing efforts -- around rule of law. how do we pack its ongoing efforts that will yield real benefits -- package ongoing efforts that will yield real benefits? each speaker will take 15 minutes for a presentation,
after which we will have a conversation and use a few moments to open it up to the audience. it is a great honor and privilege to turn the floor over to the professors. we will just go in that order is that will be ok. bill, we will start with you. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, ambassador huntsman, for the introduction and for your superb service to our nation in beijing. i would like to say john thornton, cheng li and jerome cohen for this series. for bringing he weifang to the broader international audience, you are enriching the knowledge
of china. thank you very much. it is fitting that he weifang should be the first person from the world of law in this series. he is somebody of incredible courage, which, incisiveness, and preach against -- prescience. i cherished member -- memories from harvard where we had a lot of discussions across the seminar cable and going to the boston symphony and, best of all, enjoying pigboat -- pick le tongue sandwiches. i want to frame my remarks today awhile -- around he weifang's writing.
because of my respect for him, i want to convey the majesty of what he has done in a friendly, constructive way and push a little bit on a few points. specifically, i want to engage four respects in that will illuminate broader point about the challenges of law reform in china. he first concerns the chinese tradition. he takes great pride in his heritage, as he should, he does not see it as providing abundant resources for the construction of rule of law today. i understand the way he weifang ts desire to avoid constrain and i am on aware of how
certain observers -- i am aware of how certain people in china avoid talking about reform. that is not my goal. politically and conceptually, it is crucial to try to encourage the development of rule of law in china today more in the chinese past. politically, it is hard to imagine the rule of law at improving in china it is seen as a foreign imports, particularly since the early history of rule of law is not a present one. it was essentially forced on china to some degree. conceptually, happily, there are great and abundant resources from which to draw. not that it is an easy task. the great chinese classics provide us with rich material
for thinking about rule of law and for grounding the idea. , where the confucian rule of law is tied to the people. or the justification of the removal of rulers if they fail to serve the people. or how another famous disciple of confucius underscores the importance of equitable and clear law even as applied to fighting. nowhere is this richness just at an abstract level. several chinese dynasties developed sophisticated procedural rules to monitor the exercise of power, which officials were expected to know and follow. in some instances, it gave citizens some avenues for
redress. over the past three decades, scholars in china and the outside world have recovered a massive archival data that shows, contrary to the stereotypes, ordinary chinese citizen still -- did use the law to protect their interests. in doing that, they were aided by experts in the law, which may not have been a legal profession, but they benefited from their expertise. in making these points, none of this is to suggest china's passed along is sufficient to root a rule of law. to be fair to weifang and
others, it should be said that there are other resources from which we can draw. i am personally am proud to work for other people in the room -- i am purse we proud to work for other people in the wrong to -- i am personally proud to work with other people in the room and i am proud of the will of my law school in educating people like he weifang and other chinese scholars over the past three decades. we need to be as clear eyed as possible. historically, chinese reformers and some of their foreign friends have taken too unnuanced a view.
this has made reform in china more complicated. the progress we have made is not inevitable, but often the result of hard-fought battles. it is helpful to underscore how even today it is a challenge to maintain the rule of law. law, by its nature, is dynamic. society changes and requires constant vigilance. i cannot resist one anecdote. the dean of one of the great chinese law schools was visiting me in boston a decade ago. we went to dinner and he said, can i ask you something personal? i said, of course. he said, this is a private, intimate question. i was trying to figure out is this salary, is the religion, is it politics?
he leans across the table and says, professor, the separation of powers business -- you don't really believe it, do you? [laughter] he was amazed when i told him it was a noble ideal. as inspiring as our examples in the u.s. may be, i think we all it to the chinese reformers -- owe to the chinese reformers to familiarize them with other possibilities. prior to the financial crisis of 2008 and still to some degree today, many chinese reformers have focused chiefly on the u.s. to the exclusion of other models, drawn by our power
as much as our ideals and ideas. i think it is more in power when to our chinese friends -- empowering to our chinese friends to lay out a broader array of possibilities. our chinese friends can see a range of possibilities and see what our universal ideals in promoting human dignity in a range of human institutional designed to get us there so they can craft something that is true to those ideals, but reflective of chinese society. just by way of example, six years ago, our harvard law school project worked with two chinese partner institutions and did the first conference ever in china's history on disability rights. we drew experts from an array of
different countries, many of them individuals with disabilities. each of them discussed the models of his or her country and the pros and cons. i miss it, disability remains a problematic area in china. -- obviously, this ability remains a problematic area in china. we have seen significant legislative reform. even on the ground, efforts to build clinics, engaging people from real ngo's with educators and officials, and so forth. that is my second point. my third point concerns the legal profession. weifang, in his riding, expresses the opinion that there is a tremendous prospect for constitutional government. of course, the legal profession
is crucial to the rule of law anywhere. weifang is correct to use the platform he has to force thousands of chinese students and to try to inspire them. it is important that we remain mindful of the admonition that even though lawyers value liberty, which is about taking away liberty, they are content. lawyers and the legal profession are tied to the status quo. this captures the dilemma of the elite bar today in china. its capacity to advance liberalization is constrained
by officials and the party. i cannot tell you how many dozens of chinese lawyers have, with great regret, told me this themselves. honesty compels me to say if i were in their position, i am not sure i would act differently. there is a reason we are honoring he weifang today. he has an unusual degree of courage. weifang is not alone. it is striking to me how much of the impetus for rule of law in china has come not so much from elite professionals, but from a chinese of far more humble and modest stations. if you look at rights of protective lawyers and rave at this -- activists and is --
and are receiving an education here. if you consider the extraordinary work of other non- lawyer activists are doing to consider what chinese does in its lot about environmental rights, human rights, combating discrimination around gender and disease, you see a tremendous amount of energy. legal professionals deserve more credit, attention, and help if we want to promote rule of law in china. i will pause here to commend weifang on being a public intellectual in china. he has been criticized for not just doing footnotes at the university. he is doing exactly what history calls for.
my student is looking for -- looking at me nervously to finish. let me give my final point to conclude. it concerns the unavoidable question of politics. we long for the rule of law in china as a constraint on the powerful. how do we get there from here? weifang has not been hesitant to say it takes political reform to get the rule of law. the fact that we are honoring him today in the case he is unusual. too many scholars, both chinese and foreign, have acted as if legal reform would be the driving wedge for political reform so they can avoid confronting difficult questions of political reform now. i hope i am wrong in this next point. the experience of both korea and taiwan suggest otherwise. even though their transition --
the ford their transition, they were less authoritarian than china -- before their transition, they were less authoritarian than china. it is necessary to have sustainable legal reform. beyond this heart threshold question, there are many others. i will mention one or two and include. what are we going to do about the ill-gotten gains that have occurred? chinese economists estimate that chinese peasants have been deprived of more than $500 billion worth of value in their land that has been taking without adequate compensation. how does one think of addressing that? how do we reconcile the growing
popular media scrutiny of the judiciary, which seems desirable, with the communist party pressures? there are no real answers to these or many questions we will talk about today. i do feel strongly that we are blessed -- that is the right word, blessed -- to have as gifted and courageous a friend as he weifang, a champion for his country and a teacher of inspiration for any of us engaged in law. thank you very much for having us today. [applause] i am happy to join this chorus of praise for the brookings
institution and for the leadership of john thornton and cheng li and colleagues in putting china's legal system on the political map in washington. when i started long ago to study about china's legal system, most people who would charitable felt sorry for me. they felt i must be having a nervous breakdown -- [laughter] to throw away a career in the law on a country we could not visit and seven years after the korean war's ended, we had bad relations. american views about "red china" were very negative.
i wanted to have the help of the scientific you see in analyzing the rule of law in china. i remember 1964 or 1965 in lake tahoe and comparing the soviet and chinese legal systems. i was asked to talk about law. i talked about law, courts, judges. the political scientists could not have been less interested. i was disappointed. the next day talking with the conference organizers, i made another attempt. i never mentioned law. i talked about institutions and sanctions and use all the jargon of political science. they all said, that is really fundamental. [laughter] i discovered a little bit about how to be persuasive in the world.al million --
as cheng li's recognizes in his book, how to deal with the legal system may be the new government in china's biggest problem and the one they are least equipped to handle. we are all taking different slices looking at this reality. bill has given us some good perspectives. i like what he said about the impact of history. today, i want to look at three aspects briefly. the first, i will give the most time to. i think it has the least analysis in the public domain. it is the relationship of the party to the legal system. how should the party be structured to deal with the legal system? how should tea party's
authoritative agency, the political middle -- how should the party's up the ortega agency that deals with -- political agency deal with the political system? as one of the litmus tests for the new chinese leadership. in order to provide a different perspective that relates to the historical and contemporary comparative law, i want to mention relevance of taiwan's. taiwan's shows how a chinese culture has been able to deal with the leninist legal system and how it has been able to establish a constitutional court and how it has been able to do away with education through labor's equivalence.
first, we all paid attention in recent weeks to see party's relevance to the legal system because of the reduction of the membership of the standing committee of the politburo from nine to seven. the reason was this was designed to enhance proficiency -- efficiency and promote discussion. it also has something to do with fear of the political-legal system's internal security. a member of the standing committee had too much power. they did not want to the head of the political legal commission who succeeded him to have a similar opportunity.
rather ostentatiously, they reduced the number of people on the standing committee from nine to seven, dropping the position of the political legal commission chief. the new successor to joe, the current minister of public security, is filling that spot. that creates awkward problems. it is a new shift in new political legal relations. it raises -- how will the standing committee, the charmed 7 -- keep track of what the political legal commission is up to? are they going to have a watchdog? who is it going to be? from one point of view, you could argue that the leader is a
strong leader. some think it is a demotion from his economic responsibilities. he is a highly intelligent and capable man, well qualified to deal with the immense challenge of corruption among the chinese business elite and their relationship to government. the commission is so intimately connected to the legal system -- even though it precedes the legal system -- one could take back brief as taking the legal political system on. john day jongh -- the npc is the
entity where all the relevant ministries have to report. logically, from the point of view of good government, one would think he would be put in charge. more than that, they have to figure out how he will exercise supervision. beyond that comes more fundamental questions about what should the new political legal commission's powers be? we have these wonderful suggestions by he weifang and professor about how to radically reform the legal system. many steps have to be taken. i want to talk about some of the most immediate and fundamental issues. one was mentioned by the professor. should the political legal commission continue to have the power to decide individual
cases? concrete cases. at the end of the 1980's, before he had to step down, before the tragedy, the leader of the power -- of the party, was trying to >> leaving its function to policy questions and a number of general ideological and other questions. even tolerating party selection of the leadership bill of the courts. after so many years, it is receiving renewed discussion. we will see whether the leaders of the parties are willing to clip the power of the political legal commission so they do not decide individual cases. more immediate is the question
of who will run it at every level. traditionally, the police chief has been the boss. it is a little awkward for the head of the local court and the head of the local bureaucracy to discuss the fate of a particular defendant when the police chief is running the show and out ranks them. not in government terms, but in party terms. already before the 80th party congress, a movement has been under way to change that. as one prominent way to deal with this is to have the deputy party secretary preside over the local political legal commission so that the police chief, the court president and the prosecutor when they discuss cases and other matters are on an even plane. another way is to have the
rotate. dick alternate. a lot of ideas are being bandied about. -- they can alternate. a lot of ideas are being bandied about. we do not have much exposure of how political legal commission works, even though it is very important. it works in different ways in different parts of china, and at different times. its role is obviously very important. .uch more could be done if the party wants to start giving greater autonomy to the judicial system, the prosecutors as well as the judges, it could decide that courts in the bureaucracy no longer should come under the jurisdiction of the political legal commission for any purpose, not merely individual case determinations. that would go a long way and
leave the political legal commission in charge of the ministry of state security, the ministry of public security, and the ministry of justice. that is going pretty far. i do not see that happening in the immediate future. i want to get people to focus attention on this very important commission. we have had much more attention focused on the part the's military commission, and how that relates to the party and how it relates to the government, et cetera. we are beginning to see even the party discipline and inspection committee that has just turned over after many months to the formal call legal process. we're beginning to learn more about them. we did not know much about how the political legal commission actually operates.
let me just say word about re- education through labor. every year, 200,000 people are sent off to re-education through labor by the police alone. no prosecutor's approval is rep required. no court approval is required. it comes in very handy. the other day, a young official of the government was released from re-education through labor after serving 14 months of his two year term. how did he get there? he was first prosecuted for making fun of his leaders. in a very unusual event, the
prosecutor in charge refused to indict him. i do not know what happened to the prosecutor. i would like to know. the police were not faced by failure to get the prosecutor to prosecute. they gave him re-education through labor. very convenient. when i went to tie one in the early 1960's, i was interested already in this mainland phenomenon. -- taiwan in the early 1980's, i was interested already in this mainland phenomenon. it was very frightening. taiwan has done away with it. due to tie 1's constitutional court, after a long struggle. -- due to tie 1's constitutional
court -- taiwan's constitutional court, after a long struggle. it was finally abolished in taiwan. the key was the role of the constitutional court. in china, they talk in 2003 about abolishing reeducation through labor. it was in a reformist era, the last one we have seen till now. it did not happen. now the question is, will it be changed merely in name? will the nature of the punishment be changed, will the procedures by which one gets -- will lawyers be allowed to take place consistently, what will be done about it? that is a litmus test. a final word about twaaiwan.
it was a leninist dictatorship. -- taiwan. istwsas a lenins dictatorship. we watched the transformation of a traditional chinese political dictatorship gradually, peacefully into a democratic system that has been successfully struggling, as every democratic system does, to create an impressive, independent legal system and judicial independence. this is a great achievement. if we look to history as a source of reforming what takes place in china, we do not have to look very far across the water to see in taiwan people
who are chinese people. they have made enormous progress. they are refuting the alibi that we're different, we're chinese, we did not go through the 17th century revolutions. we did not go through the bill of rights experience of the united states or the rights of men experience of france. the bother us with the rule of law and its -- judicial independence. rule oft bother us with law and a judicial independence. to understand its relevance, and the mainland is destined to follow it, but to learn more and be stimulated by it -- i look forward to the discussion. [applause]
>> thank you, ambassador huntsman. thank you, john thornton for your exceptional china program. thank you to colleagues for organizing this wonderful day of activities. whatever this may -- whatever this event may have been called, it is above all a celebration of he weifang. he is brilliant, he is learned, he is courageous. he is a tenacious person with the soul of a saint in fighting justice, fighting for justice. he is a soul of wit who somehow convinces us that fighting for fundamental change in china is a
joyful activity. [laughter] the tweet andd by sparks of with the flow from him as readily as sparks flow from an iron factory. as china watchers know, to forge iron, one must be strong. he weifang is strong. the panel has been asked under a title to do not exactly remember to talk about the prospects at changes and challenges of legal reform in china. i am certainly honor to share the stage with such distinguished colleagues as bill alfred and jerome cohen. none of us know for sure what the prospects are for the rule of law in china. partly that depends on the time frame.
day-by-day, progress seems low, the challenges and frustrations seem large. he weifang in tourism day-by- day. -- endures them day by day. if you look at the time frame the way historian would, 30 years are a blip on the screen. china's progress on so many fronts, and i would argue on the front of legal reform, has been remarkable in that clip of history. both time frames have truth that the wisest reformers that i know in china tried to keep, and to keep both time frames in mind. since i try to follow the wisest of chinese legal reformers, i
always try to keep the double time frame in mind. the last five years have been disappointing. much less was done than optimists had hoped would be possible during hu jintao's second term. hopes for legal reforms seem to be rising again. not because anyone imagines that china's new leaders have in their desk drawer the program for legal reform, but they're waiting -- but they're waiting to implement patiently. probably not. optimism, because of the need for legal reform seems so clear to so many people. i think any effort to seek truth from facts would reveal that continuing broad legal reform is needed to sustain china's strengths, to sustain a choice stability.
there is a rising demand for it in chinese society. that demand is not necessarily framed in terms of, we want legal reform, rule of law, but they want the things that a stronger and better legal system can provide. more orderly ways of addressing grievances, more fairness, less corruption, more transparency in government, more limitations on government, more practical ways to implement legal rights. i want to comment on three areas of law, and to point to some aspects of each. the three areas are judicial reform, administrative law and constitutionalism. for the sake of making a contrast among the three areas, i'm going to simplify things a little bit. i hope i will thereby put some
reasonable important issues on the table. first, with respect to legal reform, there certainly have been some very significant and judicial reforms. judicial reform over the last 30 years. the reforms continue to be made. the civil litigation system has become much improved. there is a brand new civil procedure law. there is growing professionalism among judges, which is very encouraging. it can produce long-term effects. he weifang has written about this, although bill alford just offer some less optimistic words about what to expect from that professionalism. there is a new criminal procedure law and justice gone into effect. as a general matter, its implementation is completely up
in the air. more specifically, there is no reason to expect that this new law is going to be followed in the political cases that the party considers to be important. major issues have been given new attention in the law. police torture, coerced confessions, sentencing reform, and so forth. the key problem is that the fundamental principle of judicial independence is still not really accepted by china's leaders, even though it appears in the constitution, in the 18th party congress report. it appears in most of the party documents. one of the disappointing things in the last five years is that after a reform oriented presidency of the supreme people's court, the person who
replaced him was a non lawyer who came directly from the party. he became a symbol of non independence of the chinese judiciary. the ccb still sees a truly independent judiciary as an unacceptable diminution of administrative power, and the party's power. even though i sure the argument that he weifang and others make, the party itself, the chinese government itself would be stronger and more stable and more legitimate if there were truly independent judiciary. the obstacle here for judicial reform is in the political structure and ideology, which does not accept separation of powers and checks and balances.
i view judicial reform as an example of an area near there have been valuable changes, but there is probably a real limit on what can be done in the area of legal reform without more basic political reforms. the second area is administrative law. i am going to use this example for a more positive story. i want to emphasize two administrative law developments. please do not glaze over at the mere words of administrative law. it is an exciting terrain in china. even more exciting than it is in the u.s. it is the sphere of public law. the promulgation of national open government information regulations in 2008, o.g.i. for
short. implementation of these regulations have been the sport quite imperfect. -- thus far quite imperfect. it has been document that the chinese response has been enthusiastic and vibrant. there have been requests filed for information. the government is quite often taken to court if it refuses. this is a significant development in the administrative state in china. the second example i want to give our guidelines issued by the state council requiring increased public participation in the development of administrative rules and regulations, requiring that
virtually all draft rules and regulations published in advance other than those in state and national security area, be open for public comment. china is implementing a mechanism similar to what we here. we have the implementation has been imperfect. i'm excited by these developments. we consider them noteworthy, pointing to a positive story. these ogi rules and public participation rules reflect or leased embodied -- or at least embody a profound change in the relationship between the state and the people. china for thousands of years has
had a secretive government. the people have been kept at bay from government. these ogi rules and public participation guidelines give the chinese people a greater role in government. most crucially, they change the public expectation of the public's relationship to the state. chinese citizens believe they have a right to know. chinese citizens are told they have a right to participate in the making of laws and regulations. that is hardly democracy, but it is a step in the direction to greater democratization. what changed understandings and these changed public expectations, it is sadly possible to imagine overtime but these -- it is at least possible
to imagine over time that this will lead to change in governments, even mechanisms for electing leaders, holding leaders more directly accountable. i am using this example of administrative law to suggest that sometimes incremental legal reform may be able to open up foundational political reform. it is an opposite kind of example. my last example is constitutionalism. i will use that term in its narrow sense, not quite in the full throated sense that he weifang uses it in his book. meaning simply to give life to the chinese constitution. to give it a living truth in
that wonderful phrase of chief justice warren in cooper versus aaron. reality, in the last five years there have been no steps since our conference, no real steps towards judicial review on constitutional issues in china. but what has been happening in china is a variant of what legal scholars in the u.s. today call popular constitutionalism. most people in the u.s. generally think about constitutionalism, constitutions as institutions like courts enforcing the constitution within society. it is a top-down kind of understanding. will the people obey the court?
justice breyer, a recently traveled with him to china where he spoke in a number of settings about his book and other issues. one of the truly a underestimated things in u.s. diplomacy is how effective someone like justice pryor can be in projecting the soft power of the united states -- justice breyer can be in projecting the soft power of the united states. on his day job did not require so much of him, he should be said for the roving ambassador for the rule of law. -- sent for the roving ambassador for the rule of law. in china, they do not have that top-down arrangement. what has been happening is that there has been a lot of foment
in society of scholars, ordinary chinese citizens talking about the chinese constitution, invoking it, saying that it means something. code gaining political traction. -- gaining political traction. they may go into court, they're thrown out of court because there is no judicial review. but the coverage of the constitutional claims has an effect. changing the policy. we have seen it in a lot of discrimination cases. there are whole bunch of examples that i would discuss in more detail, but the point i am using to illustrate is how people outside of government are
sometimes able to give force to block, even though the legal institutions do not -- law, even though the legal institutions do not. this is a fascinating area of the legal reform taking place in china. it is connected to the development overtime of a culture of law within chinese society. at the bedrock, it is not just about the party. it is not just about the state. it is about, is there a culture of law within society that can nurture, support, obey, and hold to account legal institutions? those are my three examples. i will not summarize some, but i will have a closing thought about he weifang, which is that
he is not only a scholar who is addressing one or another of these aspects and the stories of legal reform. he is a scholar who addresses the chinese people, the chinese public. he is not only enforcing legal reform to institutions, he is addressing issues of political reform and the broader problem of building a culture of law. i think the publication of his book is going to introduce him to people worldwide as the extraordinary figure that he is. we're delighted that you're here. i'm delighted to run opportunity to participate -- have an opportunity to participate. [applause] >> thank you, paul and jerry. and bill. and now for the fun part. we cannot have a lot of time left. we're going to jump right in.
i'm going to get through a couple of questions that i have but i think are interesting and topical that draw from the sense of history that all three of our panelists bring to the stage. then we have to turn to you. think about what you like to ask. i'm going to ask our panelists to do something that is totally counter cultural on a leading university campus, to be brief. i know many of you in the audience are going to have a lot of very good questions. dry for history, we just wrapped up the 18th party congress, we're able to reflect back 10 years. let's go back to the 16th party congress, 2002. you give it a lot of thought back in those days. where did you expect china to be at the 18th party congress as you look back from the 16th party congress? where has china fallen short,
and what have we missed? bill, we will start with you. >> i was more hopeful, even earlier, of reform. i think the massive corruption has created strong reasons for senior leaders be adverse to reform. >> let's go up to five years before that. to be have a hopeful run of years -- did we have a hopeful run of years? >> the most important thing i keep reminding myself -- >> the chinese system is so
opaque. i did study the 16th party congress report in a detailed but shocked both my american friends and my chinese friends. but do you really did guidance to be able to make a prediction? i am not really sure. i did think there would be stronger steps in the direction of judicial reform, because impartial, fair courts seem to me to be so important for china's own strength, own interests. i thought there'd be more of a recognition of that. i did not anticipate this open government information and public participation development, which i think does reflect the change in the
relationship between the state and the people that has a lot of potential. it would be interesting to ask a question right now about the 18th party congress. i don't know. that is one of the things i have learned from the 2002 report. >> i am going to put it that bill spin on the question. do draw from history and give us where you thought we would be. is there any kind of grassroots movement in china where there is a recognition of the importance of the rule of law, legal reform, whether our around property law or human rights laws, and does that have implications going forward? >> well, we are all a little jaded as paul implied through
our experience. he was such a nice looking person. [laughter] we thought he must be for human rights. then we have this extraordinary optimism. chinese insiders, the most important law reformers told made in 2003 the npc is about to abolish the education through labor. they were flatly wrong. thministry of public service party fight aheand the battle. that is what we learned. it was very disillusioning. then we thought the first term of hu jintao, he is still
controlled by the previous leaders but he will come into his own. we see this backward movement in human rights. it is not absolute because as others have said, some good laws have been passed. that is the compromise. we will give you this in a good law. we will have a new revised criminal procedure law go into effect with a number of improvements as well as some setbacks. the compromise is we will give you the piece of paper but we will keep the practice. ads to this promise of bringing the promise to the ear but breaking the hope. sometimes chinese scholars will papertefor better pieces of
but will keep quiet in practice. why don't you speak out about the way the criminal procedure law is being enforced? one law professor said it is too early to worry about practice. when will it be time to worry about practice? >> now about the grass-roots movement. >> it is hard for us to give any scientific answer. i'd like to interpret reality in a way that i find optimistic. i certainly think we're seeing more and more evidence of ordinary people, not the rich or the bourgeoisie or the people who have the party membership and the connections in local government, but people have
nothing but other than the words of the law to put it into effect. that is what it represented, people taking the law into their own hands because the local lawyers would not help him. even the local society would not help disabled people in the province. so he had to turn to himself. that is why they eventually cut him off. if you have people taking the law into their own hands, that is the most effective challenge to the party's authority. >> i am going to ask what is the appropriate role for the united states in all of this. you have been involved in programs that are very specific or broad in their purpose. how does the united states corral the firepower, the
expertise and use it effectively? the whole area of legal reform. >> i think the broadway in which we engaged with china on these issues is a better and more designed top-down way. i also think that kind of expansiveness of american civil society and at different universities, american ngo's, be very positive.o i think that chinese benefit greatly in seeing that the europeans do things differently with the japanese doing things differently. i think the nature that we do
things is beneficial by offering examples. ideas germinate from many different sources. >> your views on dexterity and coordination. >> we have heard plugs for harvard's program and for yale's. i do not want to be deficient in mentioning -- >> [laughter] >> of course we should go on to cooperate with government experts then they they want our help. people want to see us unofficially even if they cannot see us officially. we should try to continue to work with them to provide information. our and why you program just opened a new web site -- our nyu program just opened in the
website to talk about our experiences and problems for the legal procedures of the death penalty in this country. the most effective thing we can do to promote human rights in china is to improve our own example. the chinese people are not foolish. they have access to all kinds of information. i remember doing a broadcast about criminal-justice in china. every question i got concerned america's failing in our domestic human rights. we cannot keep on saying do what we say, not what we do. we have to cooperate to the extent that we can with china directly and on the other hand improve our human rights challenges which have
accumulated in the last decade. >> the problem with gerry cohen, everyone believes we have a piece of the ownership. no one remembers he is a yale college graduate. you just have to live with it, gerry. for me, the only thing i would add is to me there seems to be two paths. one is the path of open criticism of china's deficiencies in the legal area and human rights, and the other path is a quieter path of engaging cooperatively the reformers and the people and governments to try to move the ball forward that way. my basic judgment is both paths
contribute. the path that i have chosen is the cooperative engagement path. do i think it is the best idea? i think it is temperamental. i prefer doing it that way. those are the choices that i think are open to the u.s. government, open to people in the u.s., open to anyone who wants to engage china. >> if i could just jump in, i went to underscore the wisdom of that last point them that there seems to be a spectrum of ways to engage with china. i think they are all needed and they all reinforce one another. the fact that there are people being more sharply critical create more space for people in the universities who went to
create a more constructive relationship. >> we have time for a couple of questions over here. yes, sir. >> my name is arnold and i have been teaching at the university there. ambassador huntsman compared the standing committee to a board of directors earlier. the other six members do not have allegiance to him because they do not seem to be on that board through his manipulation but from someone else. you suggested that might be an
aspect of the dynasty. so, in this kind of system, who is sthe decider? at what desk in china does the buck stop ? that is what i would like to know. >> give us a quick response to that. [laughter] >> what the standing committee generally has done is to divide operational responsibilities. to that extent, they are not a typical board of directors. they are made up of the executive directors responsible for different departments of the company's operation. that is a very important issue. we're used to boards of directors that represent different interest. that is why a minority
shareholder wants a seat on the board in order to represent a view different from the dominant view. this is a conservative bunch that has learned to operate from consensus. they have respect for each others fear of authority but when it comes to important issues, they have to talk them out and try to reach a consensus. that is why it is hard to reform because consensus usually ends with the lowest common denominator. it is not a very efficient system of government except it looks to be more efficient than our own. [laughter] >> we will leave that at that. we have time for one more over on this side. anybody? yes, ma'am, right here. >> my name is nadia, a
washington correspondent. you mentioned taiwan as a model but also the first society that elected a president into jail. when chinese leaders look at this, do they think it is stowe inspiring or role model? -- still inspiring or a role model? >> i think taiwan is a model. if it is necessary to put the president in jail in order to show the country forbids a massive corruption on the part of its leaders, then it has done the right thing. if you put the president in jail for political reasons, that is another story. south korea has had to figure out how to draw the line.
in taiwan, this guy has been proved to have had stolen with his wife's help and that of his family, etc., and his son is an nyu graduate but i did not teach them anything. [laughter] china is facing massive corruption. i would like to see each one of the leaders who has built a fortune through his family investigated in order to see to what extent that success has been a product of corruption. you would end up destroying the party, destroying the system. with respect to the courts, we keep talking about political influence because that is a
problem today. courts have been distorted and their impact, their judgment by many factors. corruption is one, local protection is another. the most severe it is relations, who your friends are, your cousins and your classmates. how that is going to be eradicated is difficult. that is where legal ethics, the least subjects taught in chinese -- it is very boring to study legal ethics unless you have a very good teacher. it happens to be very, very important. taiwan is worthy to be studied. its function is to stimulate. not necessarily to be followed. it cannot ignore what is going on. the people in china are becoming
aware of what is going on in thai 1. that is a useful stimulus. >> our time pretty much is up. i want to ask both phil and paul this. if he were to sit down with the new board of directors, the members of the standing committee and you were to get their insights on how they perceive that our legal system here in the united states, which parts they liked and did not like, real quick, what is going through their head as they sit around that table? >> i think some of them would see advantages in our system. i do think some chinese leaders understand that all this pent-up energy and a profound turmoil need constructive channels
through which legitimate grievances can be put. i think others would be declined to think the united states is traceable to us having too many lawyers or litigation. >> paul, final word. >> i think they probably do not see the invisible strengths of the legal system. what they see it and probably would point to are the access. -- excess. too much conflict in the courts. they don't yet fully understand how much a stronger legal system can contribute positively. they see the extremes. by the way, so do we. many of us are in favor of some reforms of our own system as
bill was indicating in his remarks. >> we will save that for the next one. thanks to our friends here at the thornton center, we thank you all very much for being here. [applause] >> i have a quick announcement. what a wonderful panel. pau l asked me about the name of the panel. it is the dream panel. [laughter] the announcement is mr. huntsman midst to leave immediately after this panel. thank you so much for a wonderful discussion. [applause]
we have a 10-minute break. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> president obama talks about u.s. tax policy. the tax cuts that will expire at the end of this year. then, senator orrin hatch from utah gives the republican address on the fiscal cliff which refers to automatic tax increases and spending cuts that would go into effect in 2013. >> hi, everybody. i'm here on the factory floor of a business in hatfield, pennsylvania, where folks are working around the clock making toys to keep up with the christmas rush. and i came here because, back in washington, the clock is ticking on some important decisions that will have a real impact on our businesses - and on families like yours. the most pressing decision has to do with your taxes. see, at the end of the year, middle-class tax cuts are set
to expire. and there are two things that can happen. first, if congress does nothing, every family will see their income taxes automatically go up at the beginning of next year. a typical middle class family of four will see their income taxes rise by $2,200. we can't let that happen. our families can't afford it, and neither can our economy. the second option is better. right now, congress can pass a law that would prevent a tax hike on the first $250,000 of everybody's income. everybody. that means that 98% of americans and 97% of small businesses wouldn't see their income taxes go up at all. and even the wealthiest americans would get a tax cut on the first $250,000 of their incomes. congress can do that right now. they can give families like yours a sense of security going into the new year. they can give companies like this one some certainty about what to expect down the road.
and with the issue behind us, we'll have more time to work out a plan to bring down our deficits in a balanced way -- including by asking the wealthiest americans to pay a little more, so we can still invest in the things that make our nation strong, like education and research. so let's begin by doing what we all agree on. both parties say we should keep middle-class taxes low. the senate has already passed a bill to keep income taxes from going up on middle-class families. democrats in the house are ready to do the same thing. and if we can just get a few house republicans on board, i'll sign this bill as soon as congress sends it my way. but it's unacceptable for some republicans in congress to hold middle class tax cuts hostage simply because they refuse to let tax rates go up on the wealthiest americans. and if you agree with me, then i could use your help. let your congressman know what $2,000 means to you. give them a call.
write them an email. or tweet them using the hashtag "my2k." that's my2k. you and your family have a lot riding on the outcome of this debate. we all do. and as citizens, we all have a say in the country we want to build - not just on election day, but every day. so make your voice heard. i promise, it makes a difference. thanks, and have a great weekend. >> hi, i am senator orrin hatch from the great state of utah. another year is set to begin. this holiday season is different. as the clock ticks down to the new year, almost every single american is facing the prospect of the fiscal cliff. if we do that act by the end of the year, 28 million families and individuals will be forced
to pay the alternative minimum tax. the average middle-class family will see their taxes go up by at least $2,000. economically, if we do not act our nation will fall into it and other painful recession pushing unemployment back up over 9% and putting seniors retirements at risk. the president said he once a so- called balanced approach to solve this crisis. what he proposed this week was a classic bait and switch on the american people. a tax increase double the size of what he campaigned on. maybe i missed it, but i do not recall him asking for any of that during the presidential campaign. these ideas are so radical, they
have already been rejected on a bipartisan basis from congress. the president has an obligation to steer us away from the fiscal cliff and to tackle our $16 trillion debt that is driven by runaway entitlement programs. we have seen an utter lack of leadership from president obama and his allies on the left have shown very little to no willingness to tackle real structural entitlement reform. there is no manner of tax hike that can save medicare or medicaid. these programs can only be fixed with real reforms. some on the left say tinkering around the edges of medicare and medicaid would be enough, or that the health law is in touch and a perform.
they argue we do not need to examine the structural problems. make no mistake about it then been shoring up medicare and medicaid will not be easy. the situation has become so severe, it is the only responsible course to take them back in just over a decade medicare will be bankrupt. medicare beneficiaries receive $3 in benefits for every $1 they pay into the system. that is while 10,000 more americans join this program every day. the number of workers supporting it has declined by over 18% over the last decade. the average family could give up its salary for the entire year, sell their house, and still not have enough to pay their share to secure medicare pendent unfortunately, some on the other side of the aisle are advocating
a disastrous strategy that would take us over the cliff putting millions of middle-class families, small businesses, a weak economy into further jeopardy. they want more and more tax dollars to spend without putting in place any meaningful and responsible reforms to the biggest government programs on the books. that just does not make sense especially when you consider if the president has his way it by raising the marginal tax rate, nearly a million businesses and 700,000 jobs would be at risk. he would be willing to put 700,000 jobs at risk? this is a strange turn of events considering in 2010 the president and 40 senate democrats supported extending these tax rates citing our
sluggish economy. we should not raise these taxes, but we should enact comprehensive tax reform that will generate more revenue, create jobs, and increase our gdp by as much as 3.5% them that we should find a solution to ensure the survival of the medicare program. we will never get there with the un-serious plan the president proposed this week. the longer the white house wait to get serious is a day closer going over the fiscal cliff and the harder it will be to find a solution. americans want washington to work together, to get our country back on track, and to ensure we leave it a better place than we found it for future generations and then let's make the hard decisions.
let's make those decisions we know west -- must be made. thank you for listening and th. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> lives of great men all remind us we can make our lives sublime and our party leave behind us footsteps on the sands of time. warren rudman left footsteps in the united states senate and on the sands of time. many people serve here and are soon forgotten, and he is not one of them. i think the reasons are quite simple. he was admired. he had courage and principals. he got things done. he made things happen. he cared more about his country
than a bit about anything else. as a result, his country cares about him and then we care about him and that is why we're here. that is why we are honoring him today. it is a great privilege for me to have my name associated with him. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> he died on november 19 at the age of 82. vice president joe biden, david souter, senator john mccain, and other congressional leaders paid tribute. watched the full-service tonight here on c-span. next, the israeli foreign minister talks about the impediments to peace in the region. speaking from the saban center for middle east policy, this is about an hour. >> we meet at a time of great
turmoil and the middle east. just after the presidential election and the united states. two weeks ago, we were looking at the prospect of canceling the forum because of the war that was going on with hamas and gaza. thankfully, calm has been restored. hopefully it is a lasting calm. every day brings dramatic news from the middle east. yesterday, the plo won recognition as a non-member observer state. egyptians were in the street demonstrating against their newly elected muslim brotherhood president's latest decrees. this evening, the governor of
israel announced 3000 new settlements. how is the united states and israel to cope with all of these dramatic developments? how is the united states and israel to deal with the ongoing revolutions customer the descent into chaos and syria, the growing divide that is spreading across the arab world and the broader middle east, iran's nuclear weapons program, and the absence of an effort to resolve the israeli-palestinian conflict. these are questions and many others that we will have a chance to discuss this weekend. like me, you, i'd just can now wait to get started then that we have a very special
guest tonight to get us started. i am very grateful to him for joining us tonight. we have tried for many years to have him join us at the forum. some of you misremember he was here five years ago before he became the foreign minister. since then, we have not had the pleasure for one reason or another. i am grateful that he is going to start us off today than the y today. the leader of th he is now the number two leader of the party and now the foreign minister in the current government of israel. to interview him tonight and to conduct conversations with him
before we have a chance to ask him some questions, we are very grateful to robert siegel, the anchor of "all things considered" to conduct this conversation. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the foreign minister of israel and robert siegel. [applause] >> thank you. do you care which side you sit on? >> i am from the right side. [laughter] you are on the left. >> to the audience, you are on the right. welcome and it is nice to meet you. he mentions some of the most
recent news. yesterday, the un general assembly recognized palestine as a non-member observer state. today, israel has new housing units on the west bank and jerusalem. the white house says it will make it harder to resume direct negotiations. what was the message to the palestinians and the message to washington? >> first of all, the real news to see around one table me and [indiscernible] it is the real news. [applause] not the palestinian revolution. it is really unbelievable. it is real domestic peace that
we did not see before. yeah. i don't see peace. i see a lot of disagreements and a lot of tension. not peace. before this meeting, i did not know why everyone wanted me to be politically correct. i will try my best but i cannot promise. >> we would like for you to be as incorrect as you possibly can. >> for your question, first of all, israel has been contending with many years for some misrepresentations. the first misunderstanding was the dispute with the palestinians. the main reason of the middle
east conflict. the second misrepresentation and misunderstanding is the settlement. of course, the settlements -- they are the biggest obstacle to peace. i try only to speak about the facts. you know, we, for example, we evacuated 21 flourishing settlements from gaza street. we withdrew from the gaza strip. hamas in power firing rockets on israel. we did not see a result of this evacuation. the same from the lebanon side.
we withdrew from lebanon until the very last inch and we have the un resolution of israel fulfilled obligations according to international law. but we did not see any peace from the lebanon side. three and a half years ago, as a gesture of good will, we decided to freeze all construction activity for 10 months to create an opportunity to resume direct talks. after 10 months, we saw that we were in the same place, in a deadlock. for these reasons, you know, our settlement policy, our construction activity in the
settlements, it is only according to our nation of interest. s. i think there is a real concern. we're not trying to provoke the palestinians. we think it is our right to define our capital and to decide about constructions, about our view on our security issues. you must understand that this construction activity and the settlements today is part of our security view. >> first of all, this announcement was not timed to coincide with the vote at the un. it was described that way. fair enough? >> ok. but, first of all, again, the
settlements are not an obstacle to peace. the opposite is true. i think everybody who wants to avoid a real understanding, a real solution tries to use this issue as the biggest problem. you know, sometimes i see watching tv, you can see some reports. 40,000 people killed in syria. dozens in iraq, egypt, libya. but of course, the main report about eight buildings in some small town. >> we spend a great deal of time reporting on the fighting in syria.
>> it is like the discussion u.n.rday and the in the the international community not able for 22 months to stop this massacre, this bloodshed in syria. 40,000 people killed. the main discussion in the un is not about 40,000 people slaughtered but about some statement, some declaration of a non-member state and the settlements. >> back to the un vote on the palestinians, there was a draft paper attributed to you saying looking forward to that vote, saying that such a vote would destroy the terence and completely harm its credibility. you spoke of the option of toppling the government or the
option of containment as a software responds. is there really a choice between toppling the government or surrendering as a response to this vote at the un? >> to topple a government is a palestinian domestic issue. it is not our interest. israel never interfered with the domestic policy of any country and not the palestinians. you must understand what the main reason -- wha tthe real problem of the palestinians, the real challenge. it is not declaration. it is employment, financial problems, economic problems, health care, personal security, been because thee came leader failed in all the problems of the domestic arena,
he tried to escalate the activity in the international arena. misunderstanding this dispute is at the heart of the middle east conflict. what is the main reason for the arab spring? hosni mubarak lost power in egypt? it is not palestinians or israel. it is poverty and misery. the same with mahmound abbas. why he lost elections in 2006? why did he lose control in the gaza strip? poverty and misery and he failed over to hand over his economic problems.
a very corrupted in ministration. he is not able to deliver the goods to the palestinians. it is their problem. it is their choice. he postponed for two and a half years the president took elections and the parliament elections. now we understand why. >> conceding the point that the israeli-palestinian conflict may not be the central conflict of the entire region, don't you regard the issues with the palestinians as a central problem for israel and an issue that you need to find a solution to? >> course, we need some comprehensive solution with the palestinians. it depends first of all on the palestinians then they i think we made a lot of gestures of goodwill.
i am a very bad guy and will have a very radical governments. for example, the previous government -- they were my friends. mahmound abbas refused to sign the agreement. he was ready to go back to the 67 line to divide jerusalem and even open the issue of refugees. i think you must understand the ball is in their court. we are ready to sacrifice, we
are ready to understand, though we are not ready to be suicidal. >> among the goods that he and his government have not delivered is the peace that they seek, the deal they think would be acceptable. at this moment, hamas and gaza seems to be stronger and stronger. that is more and more popular. this is a group that is not seeking diplomatic solutions to its problems. they are seeking to fight with you. what has gone wrong here? >> first of all, you must understand that thanks to mahmoud abbas, diplomatic policy does not exist. you have different entities.
they are not able to lead their elections. it is a result of the administration. he lost the control in the gaza strip. he received from our hands all of the gaza strip. he lost control because of a corrupted and ineffective administration. hamas is more effective. they have more political will and determination. what you have today is the real opposition from the young generation, not from israel. today, you have not only the tension between mahmoud abbas
but between young and old generations. it is clear despite the resolutions in the un, if abbas will move for elections, he will lose the election. >> would you be pleased to see them have an election? >> i think the key is the economy. these disparities, the economy, it is the main reason for. you must understand the biggest problem in the arab world for the palestinians come up the middle class does not exist. the backbone of a very stable country, democratic countries, prosperity is it the existence
of the middle-class. what you have and egypt is a disparity between a very rich oligarch. the problems of what you have in europe, the most successful countries like switzerland, norway, 90% is a successful middle-class. they must develop the middle class. it is impossible to build a democratic country, a tolerant country that is ready to coexist. >> you cannot move to scandinavia. that is not one of the options for israel. let me ask you this question. as opposed from lurching from conference to conference, when you think over a 10-year or 20- year horizon, given your
pessimism about the palestinians, think about it further out. what is it that we in america are helping you attain? is it to continue the status quo? is it to have a negotiated peace? >> i completely agree with you that the first real and crucial mistake was from moses, that he brought us to the middle east. we are in the middle east. in the middle east, there is no coincidence that we have only one vibrant democracy.
the state of israel them that despite all of our challenges. you see what happens now in syria and even in iraq, in egypt. despite all the challenges, we are still a vibrant democracy. what our our perspective is long term? we're trying to provide for the palestinians much better economic environments. if you take for example in gaza strip, until the last year, economic growth was about 15 or 16% in gaza strip.
thanks to our efforts, you must understand that in the last three months, we pay the salary for mahmoud abbas. i think the key is economic development. what is the real mistake? my problem with the western view of this process. you think it is possible to impose peace. >> when you are thinking about this, you think of a palestinian state. >> first of all, security. second, prosperity. from a result of security and prosperity, we will achieve peace.
gdp per capita of $10,000. if they achieve this, we will resolve all our problems without special envoys, without the u.n. the key today is to develop their economy because the main reason is the unemployment. >> but it is going to be a question in this city. in the second obama administration, how much effort should the united states put into advancing an effort that you regard as fruitless and not even relevant to progress in the region? should you ask the president to just forget about it? >> first of all i would like to express my appreciation to the united states, to president obama, and to the secretary of
state. they have made incredible efforts to provide for a ceasefire in the gaza strip to achieve some understanding. day are very -- they are very courageous in the un regarding the palestinian issue then ther. it is s and the united states. we do not see any alternative to the united states. at the end of the day, people know in the middle east they have the one reliable alliance. that is israel. it is not only strategic, security, or the un.
i think the biggest challenge is not the palestinians. i think we will resolve the problem today with the palestinians. it is first of all the international community's failure and trying to compensate this lack of success in all international issues with the over-involvement with the palestinian issue. the biggest threat is iran. >> president obama has said that the policy of the united states is not to contain a nuclear iran. it is to prevent iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. he says the u.s. and israel are on the same page. do you accept u.s. policy as a guarantee in this issue that you need not worry about iran
getting a nuclear weapon because the u.s. is determined to prevent it from happening. >> let's think about syria. >> we will get to syria next. >> -- not able to exist without iranian assistance. the i iranians cannot exist without as the law, hamas and jihad. you see all terrorist activity in afghanistan and in iraq. you see more and more iranian activity. iran is a real global threat, not only for israel. if you go to the gulf, they will
never speak with you about the palestinian issue them day they will speak with you about the iranian issue. it is not only israel and the they're crazy, radical views. they understand the biggest threat and the biggest challenge is iran. i think it must be clear. if i iranians achieve nuclear capabilities, the first results will be a crazy nuclear arms race in the middle east. you can imagine the movies in hollywood. we understand what the future is
in this case. the iranians and their behavior regarding all of the gulf countires. >> the u.s. policy is mindful of this. do you see in washington what amounts to a guarantee that the u.s. will take care of this? >> i don't have any doubt. the assessment of all security forces in the world include the cia and mi6. now it is the timing for political decisions. i don't have any doubt that the united states and understand exactly how big this threat.
i think the energy policy and dependse for oil and gas o the issue of the nuclear capability of iran. that is not only a dirty bomb. the prize for energy resources will double. i think the united states understand and they will prevent this reality. even in this case, they are the most reliable ally of the united states and the western world is israel. >> are you impressed with the effectiveness of sanctions so
far against iran? >> first of all, i think it sent a very clear message to i iranians and the rest of the world. it is not enough. you have a very tough and radical leadership in iran. they are ready to sacrifice their own people to achieve their nuclear and political ambitions. they are willing to sacrifice. it is not enough. it is very difficult. it is the right decision about the sanctions but it is not enough. it is impossible to stop their nuclear development. >> we are going to take questions from the audience in a
moment. i would like to have you clarify when we talk about what the u.s. role should be in the coming years, in diplomacy involving israel and the palestinians, if the only point is economic development in the palestinian territories, i am not sure whether youasking for anything e united states. >> first of all, the question of the economy and unemployment is the first question. this is the main issue in europe. economic issues. what is the main reason in the arab world for the turmoil? economic issues. what were the main issues in the last election in the united states? economic. what is the main issue today in
china or japan? first of all, economic issues. you must understand, today we're living with the economic wealth. as mentioned, without a strong middle class, you cannot provide any peaceful policy. >> but there are dozens of nations that took part in the votes at the un that are independent states that do not have middle-class is. why can the palestinians not aspire to be a poor independent people? >> they're the most poor and uneducated part of the arab nation. they live side-by-side with the israelis for many years. dacey exactly -- they see exactly what has been done in israel and they want the same
period -- the same. it was the same with east germany and west germany, the collapse of warsaw and the soviet empire. it was economic issues. i think the same today with the palestinians. it is impossible to be a non- democratic country if you have real gdp per capita of $10,000. you cannot explain what is democracy to a country like yemen with gdp per capita less than $1,000. half the population is completely illiterate and you have two hundred tribes. explain to them who is full terror and a jean-jacques terror and a jean-jacques rousseau and what is the great